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2 Calif. deputies shot, critically wounded in ambush seen on video

The video shows a gunman walking up to a patrol car and firing several times into the front seat area before fleeing


A screen grab from a security camera video released the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department shows a gunman walking up to sheriff’s deputies and opening fire without warning or provocation in Compton, Calif., on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department via AP

By Doug Smith, Matthew Ormseth and Richard Winton
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were fighting for their lives after being shot Saturday evening in Compton what authorities described as an “ambush” that was captured on surveillance video.

The video, released by the department, shows a gunman walking up to a parked patrol car, pulling out a gun and fired several times into the front seat area from the passenger side. The assailant is then seen running from the scene.

The Sheriff’s Department reported that the shooting occurred about 7 p.m. near a Blue Line rail station.

“One male deputy and one female deputy were ambushed as they sat in their patrol vehicle. Both sustained multiple gunshot wounds and are in critical condition. They are both currently undergoing surgery,” the department said in a statement.

Law enforcement sources told the Los Angeles Times at least one of the deputies was shot in the face and another in the head when a gunman approached their car.

They also said detectives were also reviewing video surveillance footage that captures parts of the attack.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva is at the hospital where the deputies are being treated.

No further details were immediately available, and it was unclear if detectives have identified a suspect.

Both of the deputies were members of the Sheriff’s transportation detail.

Metro has split policing duties of its 1,433-mile service area — including 93 rail stations and nearly 14,000 bus stops — among three agencies: The Los Angeles Police Department, which patrols buses, trains and stations in the city of L.A.; the Long Beach police, who work at eight Blue Line stations; and the Sheriff’s Department, which patrols the rest of the system.

This summer, the Metro board approved a series of policing reform measures, including no longer sending armed officers to respond to nonviolent crimes, hiring unarmed ambassadors to work at stations and expanding fare discounts.

Compton was the scene of a deadly deputy-involved shooting nearby. The department said detectives shot and killed a man who they said opened fire on them as they served a search warrant. There is no indication the incidents are connected.

©2020 Los Angeles Times